Learn about STEM Innovation
Frequently in my 28 years as an educator I’ve recognized how fortunate I am to have been chosen for this calling. None more special than the joy I see in the eyes of students each day. A few years ago for a “fundraiser” staff pooled money & gifted me a chance to teach a lesson on penguins to William Harris’ class. I was nervous! Even as the principal, I was anxious to be the teacher that day. All class William shook his head side to side, not sure I was “doing it right”. By the end, he gave a thumbs up, his approval.
I met William Harris in middle school, now he’s a happy-go-lucky 18 year old that needs our support. William was born with Down Syndrome and Intractable Epilepsy. During 8th grade at Madison he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. William underwent 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy, bone marrow biopsies, spinal taps, and had multiple prolonged intensive care admissions, as a result of seizures and pneumonia. William has conquered all and is still smiling!
As a result of the treatment, the chemotherapy left William with Osteonecrosis. This is a permanent deadening of the bone/joints, and in his case, the hips and shoulder. William is wheelchair bound, and enduring therapy at Marianjoy to build muscle to get back on his feet.
The Harris' are in need of modifications for their home, but due to the financial status in Illinois they’ve been waiting for assistance with no promise of help arriving soon. In addition to covering the cost of modifications, the medical bills are staggering. There are several necessities that the Harris' need to ensure William's safety, as well as their own.
· A stair lift to the second floor
· A ramp leading into the house from the garage
· An adjustable hospital bed
· A handicapped accessible bathroom/remodel
Their Inspiration, Our Response!
You wouldn’t believe what the three of them are enduring every day; their strength is incredible and with your support, we can lighten their load. No one is more worthy than William becoming more independent in his own home. Like all parents, they want to offer the best care in the safest environment for William! We can help.
I am being “arrested” as part of WILLIAM'S JAIL & BAIL EVENT on Saturday, April 23rd. As part of this event, I’m reaching out to friends, family, & colleagues seeking warm hearts to dig into deep pockets to donate. Honestly, I’m not sure how the event works, I’m supposed to earn money to raise bail, but, I just want to raise as much money as possible!
Don’t wait until April 23, donate today! I’m competitive; I bet you are, too! This is personal to me.
1. I love kids.
2. I love William!
3. His family is an inspiration of positivity (His mom, Jeanette, the District Supervisor of Health Services) has a radiant smile and positive outlook on life. She and husband Joe have a 2013 NCHS graduate who attends Marquette and is William’s hero.
Erin Anderson, Principal Madison JHS
This summer has been a time for renovation and change at Madison. We have many construction projects in their final phase of completion. We look forward to our re-vamped front entry, reconfigured main office, and the new student service wing near the LRC. Please pardon dust as we finish these projects for the start of school.